On Tuesday, Great Britain and Canadian authorities announced imposing sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko, his son Viktor and a number of other high-ranking Belarusian officials.
Restrictive measures imply a ban on entry and “freezing” financial accounts of persons included in the sanctions list.
It is emphasized that the decision was a response to the Belarus government for rigging the August 9th presidential elections results and for violence against peaceful protests participants.
The head of the presidential administration Igor Sergeenko, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yuri Karaev and his deputies Alexander Barsukov and Yury Nazarenko together with the deputy commander of the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Khazalbek Atabekov and the commander of the Minsk OMON Dmitry Balaba were also sanctioned, in addition to Lukashenko and his son, RBC noted.
Over 12,000 people were detained at mass protests in Belarus after the country’s CEC declared Lukashenko to win his sixth term in a row in presidential election. The protesters call his victory unfair and consider the former opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to be the elected head of state. The latest, being under authorities’ pressure just like a number of other opposition leaders and activists was forced to leave Belarus and is now located in Lithuania. Lukashenko himself denies charges of falsification.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters that Alexander Lukashenko should be held accountable for human rights violations and vote rigging. “We cannot simply have a situation where for example, Alexander Lukashenko and let’s be frank, Vladimir Putin, believe that human rights violations and falsifications will remain unanswered,” Raab stressed. Russia has so far expressed support for the Lukashenko government and has repeatedly stated that interference in the affairs of Belarus is unacceptable. The reaction of Moscow and Minsk to Raab’s statement has not yet been discussed.
Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne said about the sanctions against Lukashenko and his entourage that “Canada does not intend to silently observe the way Belarusian government systematically attacks human rights and does not demonstrate a desire for dialogue and a joint solution with the opposition.”
Great Britain, the European Union, the USA and a number of other Western countries have previously stated they do not consider Alexander Lukashenko being the elected President of Belarus
The European Union is only preparing a list of Belarusian officials against whom Brussels intends imposing sanctions. The Baltic states have introduced their own restrictions, including against Lukashenko, without even waiting for the EU leadership decision on. It was as well reported last week about the United States planning to impose sanctions against official Minsk.
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